Study shows suicide rates are on the rise, local mother taking action

Posted at 7:42 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 21:42:25-04

A new CDC report on suicide shows a rise in nearly every state in the country.
A local psychiatrist who spoke to News 5 calls the numbers alarming.

Colorado ranked in the group of second highest rates with a 34.1 percent spike and it’s a trend LaRita Archibald is trying to stop.

"It’s been 40 years but I think about him every day," Archibald said of her son Roger, who took his life eight days after his 24th birthday. 

"It was a terrible shock and I think the feeling of being a failure as a parent," said Archibald.
"However, I didn’t know the symptoms and signals of depression."

And Archibald is certainly not alone.  
Recently, suicide has been at the forefront of national discussions, teaching us all to watch our loved ones for signs they may need help.

"The biggest sign is isolation and estrangement from others," said psychiatrist Dr. John Fleming. 
"One of the things we say about suicide is it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

If you aren’t sure of what you’re seeing, know there’s help.

"Well, there’s a lot of masking," said Archibald.
"They put on a happy face because that’s what we’re expected to do."

And it’s available right now.

Archibald helped create the Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Partnership, which provides support groups and therapy resources.
Archibald also authored "Finding Peace without All the Pieces," a book on coping with losing a loved one to suicide.
The pain of losing her son pushed Archibald to action.

"All of my grief energy I focused on learning and to make his death make a difference," she said.

But she hasn’t stopped there.
For families who share her story, she founded the support group HEARTBEAT.

The group meets the first Tuesday of every month at East Methodist Church.

"This is a woman who took a devastating family experience and turned it into a power of good," said Dr. Fleming of Archibald’s contributions over the years.

Because as she says, where there’s life, there’s hope.

If you are contemplating suicide or know someone who is or exhibiting signs there is help available take a look at your screen for some available services. 

You can call the Colorado Crisis Services line at 1-844-493-8255 or text "talk" to 38255.

There are also several walk in clinics in southern Colorado.

In Colorado Springs, there is the Colorado Springs walk-in crisis services at Pikes Peak Avenue and South Parkside Drive. 

And Aspen Point Walk-In Crisis Services at Woodmen and Powers. 

And in Pueblo, a walk-in crisis center is on Chinook Lane, that’s just north of Highway 50 and east of I-25.